How to hire the right leaders for your organisation

If you want to create a nightmare in your organisation, hire the wrong leader. If you want to upset everyone, and lower morale, hire fast and fire slow. If you want to demonstrate that you are more worried about bums on seats, rather than hiring quality leaders, hire the first applicant. Or even worse, promote someone just because they are a good technician, not necessarily a good leader. 

On the other hand, if you want to hire great leaders, who care about your business, and who are aligned with your values and vision, here are my top three hiring tips: 

1. Hire for values 

Here is what can happen. 

You are a senior leader. 

You hire a leader, for your leadership team. 

They like your organisation for a while. 

Then, there is a tough decision to make. Or you need them to implement a change. 

That they don’t entirely agree with.  

They are not happy anymore. 

They leave. 

When you ask why they left, they say very simply: 

“Because my values don’t align with the values of the organisation.” 

So, the challenge is, how do you prevent the above process from playing out in your organisation? It is not easy, but the one thing you can do is to be very clear on values in the job interview. 

In my leadership coaching sessions, I encourage senior leaders to ask applicants for their top three values. And then ask how they align with the organisational values. This will tell you if they have done that thinking around why they really want to work for you, and if they feel like you are going to be a good fit, from a values perspective. 

It also shows if they have done some research into your values, which is important.  

Pro Tip: Before you ask about values, be clear on what your own values are, and what the organisational values are. 

2. Hire for fit 

The old saying is that we hire on attitude, we don’t hire for skill. Yep, that used to be relevant. And it you are hiring a sales person, or a trades person, or an administrator, great strategy. 

If you are hiring a senior leader, it is just not that simple. Senior leaders need to have the right attitude, and the right skills. You don’t have the time or the effort to train your senior leaders to be good leaders. You will coach them, but you just can’t be running around after them, doing their job. Which will happen if you don’t hire the leader that fit best into your team, or organisation, and your culture. 

Hire senior leaders on fit. Cultural fit. Because culture is driven from the top of the organisation, the leader that you hire will be expected to drive the culture. And you might want an inclusive culture, and engaging culture, a proactive culture, or even just a positive culture. 

“What is a positive work culture? Simply put, a positive work culture is one that prioritises the well-being of employees, offers support at all levels within the organisation, and has policies in place that encourage respect, trust, empathy, and support (Credit: Wiki).” 

If you get the feeling that the languaging and the behaviour of the applicant you are considering will not drive this type of culture, say to yourself… NEXT. 

Pro Tip: Before you ask about culture (like values), be clear on what culture you are trying to drive in your business, and what you expect of your leaders in that space. 

3. Use the coffee cup test 

This is my favourite, and there are two stages to this one. 

Firstly, be aware of how the applicant treats others, either on their way to the interview, or just as they enter the building. Ask the Receptionist for feedback on how they were treated by the applicant when they arrived. If they don’t treat people with respect, because that person is not seen by them as being important, that should be a red flag. 

The second thing to do, and this is my favourite, and I have used this on multiple occasions (as recently as last week), is to make sure that your applicant has a coffee or a drink of water during the interview.  

The kicker – watch what they do with it at the end of the interview. See if they take it back to the kitchen, or to the sink. 

You can tell a lot about a leader just by watching their behaviour, and it is something that most people either don’t notice, or don’t think is important.  

Pro Tip: This takes no effort at all. It is about being observant. Be observant of all elements of body language, as what the leader does, the teams will follow. 

Please reach out to work out how you can implement any of the above actions. 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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